Democracy Now! Wednesday, September 14, 2011
After Gaddafi’s Fall, A Revitalized Libya Tackles Militarization, Reconciliation & NATO’s Presence
Producer Democracy Now!Audio/Visual sound, color
As Libya’s former rebels begin to govern the country after the ouster of longtime leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi, we look at those who remain. Democracy Now! correspondent Anjali Kamat has just spent 10 days crossing Libya, speaking with fighters, former political prisoners, journalists, and advisers to the new government. "Even though Gaddafi’s whereabouts remain unknown and his sons’ whereabouts remain unknown, in a sense, for most people we spoke to in Libya, it seemed like he had already passed into the dustbin of history," says Kamat. "There’s a real sense of rebirth, a feeling that their lives are starting anew." Still, challenges remain. Kamat says the National Transitional Council must determine "how to rein in these weapons and what to do with the proliferation of the rebel units, the armed brigades that have formed all over the country that helped defend cities and towns across the country." Another unresolved issue is national reconciliation, and the re-emergence of the country’s Muslim community. One point is clear, says Kamat: "Nobody wants foreign troops on the ground. No one wants bases. And no one wants private military contractors, either."
Mahmood Mamdani on Libya, an African Union in "Crisis" & the Outlook for South Sudan
As the African Union meets today, Columbia University professor and Africa scholar Mahmood Mamdani joins us to give his take on the regional and global implications of NATO’s intervention in Libya, which he says threatens to increase the militarization of the African continent. Mamdani is the author of several books, including "Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics, and the War on Terror" and "Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War, and the Roots of Terror." We’re also joined by Democracy Now! correspondent Anjali Kamat, who has just returned from 10 days in Libya following the rebels’ victory in Tripoli.
GOP Candidate Ron Paul: "We’re Under Great Threat Because We Occupy So Many Countries"
Near the end of Monday’s Republican presidential debate, Republican Rep. Ron Paul of Texas drew boos from the crowd and a rebuke from other candidates on the podium when he criticized U.S. foreign policy in discussing the roots of the 9/11 attacks. "We’re under great threat because we occupy so many countries," Paul said. "We have to be honest with ourselves. What would we do if another country, say China, did to us what we do to all those countries over there?" Our guest, Columbia University Professor Mahmood Mamdani, responded to Dr. Paul’s comments by saying, "He sounds like a professor. I mean, he’s trying to educate his audience, and the audience is not ready to be educated. It wants to be rallied to a cause that it doesn’t have to think about." Mamdani is the author of several books, including "Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War, and the Roots of Terror."
U.S. Census Reports Reveals One in Six Americans Are Poor, One in Five Children Live in Poverty
A new U.S. Census Bureau report reveals the number of people living in poverty last year surged to 46.2 million—one in six Americans—the highest number since the Bureau began tracking such data more than 50 years ago. According to the report, blacks and Hispanics together accounted for 54 percent of the poor, with whites at 9.9 percent and Asians at 12.1 percent. Children under 18 suffered the highest poverty rate. Meanwhile, the number of Americans with employer-provided health insurance has also continued to decline, and the ranks of the uninsured now hovers just below the 50 million mark, the most in more than two decades. Analysts say the numbers would have been worse if not for government assistance programs, including extended unemployment compensation, stimulus spending, Obama’s health reforms, and Social Security. We speak with Heidi Shierholz, labor economist at the Economic Policy Institute.